Archive for Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Graham Bailey: Cost is the central problem

August 4, 2009


Graham Bailey

Graham Bailey

Graham Bailey, vice president of public relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas

Bailey believes cost is the central problem.

“I think there is a misconception out there that the insurance industry is some way the villain. A health care premium just reflects the cost of health care,” he said.

Bailey said last year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas paid $1.86 billion in health care costs, covering 20.2 million claims.

“So, this idea that insurers are out there making huge profits and not paying claims is just incorrect,” he said. “The problem with our health care system is that the cost of health care is too high, that makes insurance too high and that makes it unaffordable for people. So, we have to change that.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas favors legislation that would require everyone to carry health insurance and insurers would have to take anybody wanting health insurance.

“Only when we get all of the players in the game, can we absolutely make sure that we’ve everyone covered,” he said.

“The second thing is that we have just got to figure out new payment mechanisms. Right now, there are no barriers for people to receive health care and for health care providers to give health care. The more services they do, the more money they make.”

“We need to start creating some sort of a payment philosophy where we pay health care providers to keep people healthy and to give them an incentive to keep people healthy, and I think that’s going to be what’s going to have an effect on health care costs.”

Bailey’s biggest fear is that a government-run insurance plan will drive private companies out of business.

“We are not going to be able to compete with it because they will pay lower rates to physicians and hospitals, along the scope of where Medicare pays. And then, the private insurers will be gone and you will just have a national health insurance program with no choice and no place to go if you are unhappy.”


Practicality 8 years, 9 months ago

Why is it important what Mr. Bailey makes? Do you want to know what kind of car or house he owns too?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

Mr Bailey is not addressing HR 676.

Government elected officials get free health insurance which is why ALL OF US should have OUR health insurance covered by OUR tax dollars just like 60% of those who are insured which comes to $1.2 trillion.

Just think how much more efficient $1.2 trilion health insurance tax dollars can be spent by covering all USA people instead of only 60% of those with insurance. Now we are talking like efficient, fiscally responsible, dollars and sense conservatives.

The U.S. health insurance system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health insurance bill is paid through taxes which comes to $1.2 trillion. $1.2 trillion is a sweet gravy train for the insurance industry.

That same $1.2 trillion can cover all americans. Now this is the real surprise..... the government is not using our tax dollars effiiciently which is to say WE need OUR tax dollars applied in a true fiscally responsible manner. Privatized insurance has been ripping off americans for decades. Let us welcome HR 676 health insurance with open arms and smarter wallets.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

Dan Eggen and Kimberly Kindy

Washington Post Staff Writers Monday, July 6, 2009

The nation's largest insurers, hospitals and medical groups have hired more than 350 former government staff members and retired members of Congress in hopes of influencing their old bosses and colleagues, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosures and other records. =========================== Too many legislators are on the band wagon as shareholders and special interest campaign money receivers: ======================= Senate Report Finds Insurers Wrongfully Charged Consumers Billions

======================== “Highlighting the frenetic activity the overhaul has spurred in Washington, health interests have reported spending $262 million lobbying in the first six months of 2009, more than any other portion of the economy, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

That was $23 million more than health-related companies and groups spent lobbying during the first half of 2008.”


Blue Dogs Accept record amounts from healthcare industry

At the same time, the group has set a record pace for fundraising this year through its political action committee, surpassing other congressional leadership PACs in collecting more than $1.1 million through June. More than half the money came from the health-care, insurance and financial services industries, marking a notable surge in donations from those sectors compared with earlier years, according to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. ad_icon

A look at career contribution patterns also shows that typical Blue Dogs receive significantly more money -- about 25 percent -- from the health-care and insurance sectors than other Democrats, putting them closer to Republicans in attracting industry support

working_momma 8 years, 9 months ago

What did BC/BS pay to its shareholders last year???

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

Fear : Health reform will be too costly; it will raise your taxes and could even bankrupt the country.

Fact: The real threat to your finances is the health system the U.S. has now. A recent study concluded that today's $2.4 trillion annual health-care tab would jump to $4.4 trillion by 2018 if nothing is done to rein in expenses.

Consumers Union thinks reform is the best hope for getting costs under control. It would cut down on waste, overhead, and price gouging, and reduce inappropriate care and preventable errors.

We fully understand why some people are apprehensive about reform: Any change is scary. But we also see the shameful damage caused by the current system. Americans deserve better than this, and can have it.

Read about our latest reform efforts and our analysis of legislation as its being debated in Washington, D.C. in our Guide to Health-Care Reform.

5 common fears about health reform =========================================== Leading Cause Of Bankruptcy Read more:

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

So what would the new Medicare For ALL Insurance offer to americans 365 days a year,24/7,employed or not,moving on to a new job or not,single mom or not,struck down with cancer or not?

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs. About $225 per month. Today the below insurance coverage actually costs about $1,100 per month.

New Medicare Insurance for All long term care such that cancer would require prescription drugs hospital surgical outpatient services primary and preventive care emergency services dental mental health home health physical therapy rehabilitation (including for substance abuse) vision care hearing services including hearing aids chiropractic durable medical equipment * palliative care

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. If a deductible and/or co-pay policy is in effect this usually indicates under-insured.

Changing nothing certainly will save nothing ever!

working_momma 8 years, 9 months ago

2 other itmes......How much in claims were denied for how many claims, and how much ABOVE medicare is BC/BS reimbursing currently for say a hysterectomy, or gall bladder removal, or dialysis access, or a joint replacement? I will assume no one will answer tha latter because it is the same!!!!!!!!

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

How can HR 676 Save 350,000,000(billion)?

By eliminating: insurance spending on what 1,500 health insurers add to the actual cost of providing care: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes Politicians as shareholders:

working_momma 8 years, 9 months ago

I like the cut and pasting, helps me with research, which by the way proves that Merrill has done.

1moreopinion 8 years, 9 months ago

Poor Graham Bailey is worried about his job and his bonuses.

Merrill, I read many of your posts on here and I must say I disagree with a lot of them, but this time I am in there with you. Also, I appreciate your copy and paste practice. I second the comment made by working_momma. Thanks for the information and the links..

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 9 months ago

The insurance companies had vowed to cooperate with health care reform but it was all talk and no action. The person stirring up the "grassroots" opposition is none other than Richard Scott, who was the CEO of HCA, who defrauded the government out of millions of dollars through fraudulent Medicare claims. Here's an interesting piece written by Paul Krugman about the insurance companies false promises of cooperation in reforming healthcare and an article about Richard Scott's involvement in the defrauding the government of millions of dollars.

The wizard behind the curtain orchestrating these "grassroot" protests is Richard Scott and his cronies in the insurance industry. It's sad how they are manipulating the people who don't know any better. If this insurance companies are legitimately concerned, they'd do well to distance themselves from Richard Scott.

For those of you worried about healthcare reform, you should be petrified that this man has any say or influence about our nation's healthcare policy. All of you fiscal conservatives worried about the government wasting your tax dollars, why are you not outraged about this man stealing all this money from the government? HCA never disputed the charged, pled guilty and paid over $840 million dollars in fines and penalities.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 9 months ago

insurance companies are the devil. The reap HUGE profits. and yes, they do deny claims. all the time. If you pay a premium, it's my belief that whatever goes wrong with you should be fixed and you should never hear from the doctor or insurance company about those costs again. but any time i've ever had any thing done, there's always the part that they don't cover. this guy can try all he wants to convince me otherwise, but I have sunk thousands upon thousands of dollars into my health insurance only to be saddled with additional out of pocket costs.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

Why in the hell is the health care industry buying and why are legislators selling out?

Health Care Industry and Congress -- We're on to You, and We're not Going to Take It Anymore

Former Lawmakers and Congressional Staffers Hired to Lobby on ...The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on lobbying in the

Health Care Industry and Congress -- We're on to You, and We're not Going to Take It Anymore /health_care_continues_its_inte.html

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